With ‘Wanna Bet,’ Sports Interaction embraces the absurd

Who: Sports Interaction, with Juniper Park\TBWA for strategy and creative; Undefined for production (Matt Atkinson directing); School, The Vanity and OSO for post-production; Spark Foundry for media.

What: “Wanna Bet,” a new awareness campaign for the sports betting service.

When & Where: The campaign is in market now, running on TV and online video/social for the next several months.

Why: The goal is to help Sports Interaction stand out amid the glut of sports betting ads through a combination of comedy, variety, and a sheer “WTF did I just watch?” vibe. “With so many brands fighting for their share of voice and resonance, we wanted to have a campaign that leaned heavy on wit, sport and Canadian ‘moments,” said Sports Interaction CMO Katelin Bernard. “The result is a disruptive, multi-tiered storyline that creates curiosity and intrigue, with an approachable and easy going platform inviting players to ‘wanna bet’ on life’s events.”

How: The campaign uses the unpredictability of sports as the inspiration for the creative. Like sports fans, people watching the spots never know what’s going to happen next.

It opens on a group of friends watching a game when one notices that they’re out of snacks. “Wanna bet I can get to the store and back before halftime,” he says. “You’re on,” says his friend.

That is the set-up for a series of outlandish scenarios encountered by the hero, from battling a (stuffed) beaver, to getting a hockey hair make-over, to launching a football into orbit (see a super-cut of the scenarios below).

According to Juniper Park\TBWA there are 21 different scenes for four different sequences of events in the script. “Although we currently are running six spots on TV, we produced to allow for up to 972 different permutations to be built and played for digital,” said a JP\TBWA spokesperson.

And we quote: “We embraced the agility and unashamedly unpolished social filmmaking mindset to create some solidly bonkers spots. The content that audiences consume is showing up differently and being made in new ways and if the client and brand are right, it’s something we need to embrace.” — Jenny Glover, chief creative officer, Juniper Park\TBWA

Chris Powell